AFAC Volunteer Award Winners 2021

We at AFAC treasure each of our volunteers and the gifts that they bring. Collectively, in normal times more than 3,000 volunteers donate close to 50,000 volunteer hours. Each year, AFAC staff gathers to decide which volunteers to recognize from this great group. This is a tough decision each year, but this year was the hardest of all.

Our traditional volunteer picnic has morphed into a volunteer recognition program that took place on Sunday, June 13 at The Board Room. Unfortunately, due to COVID, we are only able to invite those that we are honoring (and a few of their guests). We hope to celebrate all of our volunteers more fully next year.

Volunteers of the Year

Doris Bennett

Doris is clearly and simply, the heart and soul of the Clarendon Distribution. We could not run this site this year without her. She has supported us faithfully the last 14 plus years, donating more than 500 volunteer hours.

Individuals who have donated 200+ hours between March 2020-March 2021 (what we have deemed the “peak” of the pandemic)

The volunteers who are in our 200+ club are the following: Terese Brewster, Lee Clarke, Hal Creel, Les Davison, Diana Gordon, Amy Haas, Sarah-Kate Hawkins, Catherine Kitchell, Bruce Logan, Jeff Lynn, Cassandra Metcalfe, Rich Mobley, Randy Randall, Leon Scholfield, John Ziolkowski. These are the individuals that made sure that day in and day out, we were ready for our 2,400 weekly clients, providing help to our staff drivers, helping in our prep room, cutting bags, checking in clients, helping with multiple distributions throughout the week, and anything else that needed to get done!

Teen Volunteers of the Year

Akiva Dienstfrey
Lillian Thro

Akiva is a senior at TC Williams High School in Alexandria, and Lillian is a sophomore at Yorktown High School in Arlington. Both Akiva and Lilly practically lived here once school went virtual last spring and stayed throughout the summer. Since the fall, Lilly helps every Monday morning with our home delivery program and Akiva comes in every Monday afternoon to process our weekly applications, enter in volunteer hours, and other necessary office work.

Community Partners of the Year

Arlington County Parks and Recreation
Kinder Haus Toys

At the start of the pandemic, our three top food drives were canceled and our typical avenues of collecting food were no longer available. Arlington County Parks and Recreation stepped up by putting out collection boxes and many sites throughout the county and encouraged the community to donate. Through their efforts, we have received at least 12,000 pounds of non-perishable food. While our referrals were increasing, this extra food was a tremendous help.

Kinder Haus Toys has been a food donor to AFAC for 13 years and though the pandemic forced the store to close temporarily and then operate under very limited circumstances, they still decided to make AFAC a priority. Their yearly donation during the pandemic was 3,491 pounds of food that was donated by their customers, employees, and other community members. We’re grateful for their support.

Volunteer Group of the Year

The Carrot Crew

This group was initially led by Lee Clarke and now by Linda Hadley. It was a group of neighbors who wanted to be useful during the pandemic and have been helping EVERY Wednesday without fail since last May. The group is agreeable to doing just about any activity they are asked with good humor and grace. They have volunteered more than 600 hours to AFAC since they started.